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Comments about the soundtrack for The Last Samurai (Hans Zimmer)

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Dr. Cespedes Defends the Christian Samurai
• Posted by: Dr. J. R. Cespedes, Ph.D
• Date: Thursday, April 8, 2004, at 7:05 p.m.
• IP Address: cache-rq07.proxy.aol.com
• In Response to: Re: What does Born-again Christian bullshˇt ha... (Andrew Kelley)

This is in reply to Jason's comment about the "Stupid-ass born again Christians." You sound like a very young person by your reply, perhaps you are an adolescent. For example, the use of the term "stupid-ass" usually denotes physical, and mental immaturity. There are many more adjectives that you can use, Jason. Stay awake during your English class, you may learn something. The fact that you misspelled the word "stupid" is also indicative of a poor education. At any rate, Since I am a historian, a Ph.D. in Education, and a jujutsuka as well as a Christian, I will attempt to elucidate you. Don't be turned-off by the fact that I am (very likely) a lot older than you. There is wisdom in age. First, get a dictionary Jason, or an encyclopedia (better yet, get both). For more than 50 years Christianity was a leading religion in feudal Japan. Along with the goods brought by Portuguese traders in the mid-1500s came Jesuit missionaries, who spread the Christian word to the poorest farmers as well as samurai barons, and who persuaded the Shogun to grant protection and freedom from taxes to the missionaries and their churches. Christianity thrived under Oda Nobunaga, one of Japan's great samurai leaders, and by 1580 there were an estimated 150,000 converts. Samurai were seen carrying rosaries, crosses on their helmets and, as swords clashed, cries of "Iesu" and "Santa Maria" echoed over the battlefield. I hope that the historical connection and perspective between Christianity and Japanese feudal society is clearer now. However, any real understanding of the Samurai must begin with the most important aspect of the Samurai: Bushido. Knowing about Bushido is how one knows the Samurai warrior. "Bushi" is translated as "Warrior" and "do" is translated as "the way." Thus Bushido means "the Samurai way of life." Bushido consisted of a rigid code of ethics that was to be followed devoutly with bravery, honor and loyalty as the most important aspects. The most revered Bushido tenet was "freedom from fear." A Samurai was to live every moment with no fear of death, thus giving them the freedom to follow the Bushido code without hesitation and without fail. This philosophy was to be held sacred, even if one had to sacrifice one's life to pursue these ideals. The parallels between these beliefs and the beliefs found in Christianity are evident. A part of the code of Bushido permitted the Samurai to draw his sword and execute any commoner who rendered an insult to him or his Lord. Therefore, as a Christian Samurai, your insult to my Lord and Master Kirisuto Iesu (that's Christ Jesus in Japanese, you dullard) requires me to immediately unsheathe my e-sword and behead you on the spot. Notice how the other Christian Samurai nod and smile as the head of this peasant rolls across the lawn. Smile, Jason. It was a joke. I will send you a stick-drawing later, so that you can better understand it all. -- Dr. J. R. Cespedes, Ph.D.




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